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Strangers help Ameia’s dreams come true

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Strangers help Ameia’s dreams come true

A LITTLE girl with half a heart is working her way through her ‘bucket list’ thanks to the kindness of strangers.

Lockerbie toddler Ameia Johnstone, 2, suffers from Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), and so far has undergone two life saving open heart surgeries, with another on the cards in the future.

While pregnant, mum Emma Johnstone was advised by doctors to terminate and told her unborn daughter only had a 50 per cent chance of surviving until she was five and that was only if she had a series of surgeries.

But Emma refused to give up on her daughter and strives to make her life happy and fulfilled every day, even creating a bucket list for the tot.

She got the ball rolling by contacting Edinburgh Zoo to see if little Ameia could be a zookeeper for the day and she was thrilled when they got back in touch.

The tot and her immediate family secured a visit to the zoo’s Dreamnight event, a special evening for children with chronic illnesses.

Next Emma sought to see her little girl’s dream of riding a pony come true.

The mum-of-three posted on a local horse and pony online group enquiring about pony rides and has been thrilled by the kindness of strangers.

She said: “I posted on a horsy page a few days ago explaining about Ameia’s bucket list and also explaining a little bit about her condition.

“It’s got loads more response than I could ever imagine and we’ve got horse riding offers coming out of our ears from people between Lockerbie and Gretna who all want to help.”

Little Ameia has even been donated a special riding hat from a shop in Carlisle, who will custom fit it.

Emma said: “It was absolutely unbelievable, never in a million years did I expect to get such a great response from everyone.

“It just proves that there are many kind and wonderful people in the world, and I truly am grateful for each and every offer of letting her ride their horse.”

She added: “If I was to thank everyone individually for offering their horses for her to ride I would be here all day, so I’d like to thank Lloyd Equestrian, Samantha Ansell, Kelly Wilson and everyone else who has offered help make her dreams come true.”

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